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Cliff Keen Arena

Ann Arbor, MI

Home of the Michigan Wolverines Volleyball

3.4

3.7

Cliff Keen Arena (map it)
616 E Hoover St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104


Michigan Wolverines Volleyball website

Cliff Keen Arena website

Year Opened: 1956

Capacity: 1,800

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Keen on Volleyball

Matt Mann Pool opened in 1956 as the home of the University of Michigan swimming team. In 1988, the opening of Canham Natatorium down the street allowed the swim team to move out, and the building was renovated to serve as the home of Michigan's women's volleyball team, men's gymnastics, and wrestling teams.

The venue seats 1,800 spectators and is right-sized for the Wolverine volleyball team. The action is fast-paced and makes for an enjoyable night out in an intimate environment.

3.4

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    2

There isn't a lot on offer at Cliff Keen Arena in terms of food and drink, but there is certainly enough to get you through the length of a college volleyball match. Lines for the lone concession stand can get long during intermissions and between sets, so consider sneaking out a few points early to get a jump on the others in queue.

Entrees include hot dogs ($4.50), bratwursts ($5.50), and nachos. The hot dog and brat are both juicy and delicious and served very warm. They're a bit pricey, but the quality is good. Snacks and sweets include soft pretzel ($4), popcorn ($5), candy boxes ($4), and Cracker Jack ($3).

Drink options include Coca-Cola products in three sizes ($4, $5, and $7). The most expensive option will also yield you a souvenir mug to take home. Bottles of water are also available ($3.50).

The hot dogs and brats are some of the best you'll find in an arena, even if they are a bit overpriced. If you're hungry, then go for one of these.

Atmosphere    4

A volleyball match at Cliff Keen Arena offers a good atmosphere. The fans are interested, the points go quickly, and the PA and pep band provide music in between points and during time outs.

There is seating primarily on the three sides of the court, with the exception of a small bleacher set up for students behind the team benches. Seats along the sideline have chair backs, while the majority of seating is wooden bleachers. The leg room is slightly above average throughout, and you'll have a good view of the action regardless of your choice is seats. If you have back issues, it's worth the extra couple of bucks to get the sideline bucket seats.

The small but talented pep band is located in one corner of the arena, and will play during breaks, time outs, and between sets. Between each point you'll hear pop music over the PA system to keep the atmosphere vibrant. Every Michigan ace will be accompanied by a staff member throwing a t-shirt into the crowd.

There aren't any bad seats at Cliff Keen Arena, although the top rows may present slight obstructions from some of the banners hanging down. Your choice here is really about whether you want a chair back. If you do, then choose a sideline seat. If not, then any bleacher seat will suffice. Matches typically last up to about 2 and a half hours.

Neighborhood    5

Ann Arbor is the quintessential college town and the University of Michigan is most definitely the center of Ann Arbor. The Michigan campus is very large and Cliff Keen Arena is at the west end of campus. There are numerous options for pre and post game meals in downtown Ann Arbor.

Some of the options that you may want to consider include Ashley's, Grizzly Peak Brewing Company, Arbor Brewing Company, Blue Tractor, or the Jolly Pumpkin. Pick your favorite ethnic cuisine, and you can probably find it within a mile or so from Cliff Keen Arena. Other favorites in town include Zingerman's (one of the best delis/specialty food stores in the world), Mani Osteria (wonderful Italian), Frita Baditos (Cuban-inspired food), and Grange (for more eclectic new American cuisine).

If you have kids with you, then the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is well worth a visit. Other attractions to see while you're in Ann Arbor include the historic Michigan Theater, the University of Michigan Art Museum, the Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum, or see a concert or show at Hill Auditorium.

Sports fans may be in town to see a football game at Michigan Stadium, or a hockey game at Yost Ice Arena later in the season. The soccer season also corresponds with volleyball, so check out the schedule for U-M Soccer Stadium.

Hotel accommodations can be found clustered near I-94 just to the south of the stadium, but expect to pay a hefty sum to stay here. If you're flying in, the Detroit airport is about 20 miles to the east along I-94 and there are plenty of hotels there for a much better rate.

Fans    3

The core fans at Michigan volleyball games can be found in the sideline seats, or they are students sitting either in the bleachers or among the pep band. Many other fans enjoy the match in a more casual and detached way.

With a capacity of only 1,800, it doesn't take much to provide some energy in the arena. The Michigan volleyball team has had some decent recent success, including a trip to the 2012 national semi-finals, and the crowd is supportive of the product on the court.

When the Wolverines reach a set point, they all stand and cheer the team to finish off the opponent. You'll also feel the tension build during a long rally, and the fans will explode if the long point goes the way of the maize and blue.

Access    4

Cliff Keen is very accessible, especially during weeknight games, or on weekends when there are no other athletic events happening. Inside, this small venue can feel a little cramped within the concourse at the busiest times, but it is relatively easy to move about.

Parking is available in the Athletic Lot just off of State Street. If the lot is full, then the larger parking lot outside Crisler Center is a good bet, although you can probably find street parking available in most cases. Entrance to the arena is simple. The concourses are somewhat narrow, but are wide enough to accommodate the size of the crowd on hand. Restrooms are small, but again, large enough.

Return on Investment    4

Tickets are just $6 for bleacher seats, and $8 for seats with a back. The food prices seem just a little bit high, but free parking helps to ease that overage. Overall, this is a good value for your sports dollar.

Extras    2

One extra point for the free program available when you enter the arena. A final extra point for the pep band, which adds a lot of energy to the proceedings.

Final Thoughts

Cliff Keen Arena provides a worthwhile sports experience. You may not be circling this as a must-see destination, but if you have an opportunity to see a Michigan volleyball game, then the trip will be worth your time and money.

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Crowd Reviews

Fun family event

Total Score: 3.71

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 2

We enjoyed attending several volleyball games this past winter at Cliff Keen arena. The games were exciting and this arena is very comfortable with everything you need to enjoy the game.

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Local Food & Drink

Ashley's  (map it!)

338 S State St

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

(734) 996-9191

http://www.ashleys.com/

Grizzly Peak Brewing Company  (map it!)

120 W Washington St

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

(734) 741-7325

http://grizzlypeak.net/

Arbor Brewing Company  (map it!)

114 E Washington St

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

(734) 213-1393

http://www.arborbrewing.com/

Blue Tractor  (map it!)

207 E Washington St

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

(734) 222-4095

http://www.bluetractor.net/bta/index.html

Jolly Pumpkin  (map it!)

311 S State St

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

(734) 913-2730

http://www.jollypumpkin.com/jp/home

Zingerman's Deli  (map it!)

422 Detroit St

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

(734) 663-3354

http://www.zingermansdeli.com/menus/printable-menu-only/

Mani Osteria & Bar  (map it!)

341 E Liberty St

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

(734) 769-6700

http://maniosteria.com/

Frita Baditos  (map it!)

117 W Washington St

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

(734) 761-2882

http://www.fritabatidos.com/

Grange Kitchen & Bar  (map it!)

118 W Liberty St

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

(734) 995-2107

http://www.grangekitchenandbar.com/

Local Entertainment

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum  (map it!)

220 E Ann St

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

(734) 995-5439

http://www.aahom.org/

Michigan Theater  (map it!)

603 E Liberty

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

(734) 668-8463

http://www.michtheater.org/

University of Michigan Art Museum  (map it!)

525 S State St

Ann Arbor, MI 48109

(734) 764-0395

http://www.umma.umich.edu/

Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum  (map it!)

1610 Washington Heights

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

(734) 647-8986

http://www.lsa.umich.edu/mbg/

Hill Auditorium  (map it!)

825 N University Ave

Ann Arbor, MI 48109

(734) 764-2538

https://muto.umich.edu/article/hill-auditorium

Lodging

Bell Tower Hotel  (map it!)

300 S Thayer St

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

(734) 769-3010

http://www.belltowerhotel.com/

Weber's Ann Arbor Hotel  (map it!)

3050 Jackson Rd

Ann Arbor, MI 48103

(734) 769-2500

http://www.webersinn.com/

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